Compensation fraud repays more than $96,000

Muhammad Faisal, 38, pleaded guilty in the Werribee Magistrates Court last week. 173239_01

By Alesha Capone

A mechanic will repay $96,196 to WorkSafe, after being caught working while receiving weekly payments from Victoria’s workers compensation scheme.

Muhammad Faisal, 38, pleaded guilty in the Werribee Magistrates Court last Monday to one charge of fraudulently obtaining payments after he injured his right arm and shoulder while working as a mechanic.

The court heard Faisal’s compensation claim was accepted by WorkSafe in June 2017 and he received weekly payments until November 2019.

An inspection of Faisal’s financial records later found that while receiving injury support, he performed multiple shifts, driving taxis for several different companies. He also worked as a ride-share driver.

The investigation revealed Faisal attended a number of medical examinations where he failed to inform doctors that he had returned to work, and had submitted certificates of capacity declaring he had not earned any income.

Faisal was convicted and placed on a 24-month community corrections order, with a condition to perform 225 hours of community work.

In sentencing, the court took into account Faisal’s agreement to repay the full amount he fraudulently claimed.

WorkSafe’s Insurance Business Unit executive director, Roger Arnold, said people who try to defraud the compensation scheme were hurting workers who actually need care and support.

“The vast majority of injured workers want to do the right thing and return to work as soon as it is safe to, but there will always be a small minority who are tempted to cheat the system for their own benefit,” Mr Arnold said.

“Compensation is there to support workers and WorkSafe will not hesitate to take action against the kind of dishonesty that undermines the integrity of the entire scheme.”